The Google URL Shortener (goo.gl) was launched in December 2009, originally intended to be used with Google Toolbar and Feedburner. However, the need for link shorteners has largely gone away over the past few years, and goo.gl started to wind down last year. It was already unavailable to new users as of May 2018, but now it's gone for everyone. Read More
Part of the changes introduced with Chrome's Duet interface (previously known as Duplex) is a new search button in the bottom bar that lets you jump to the address bar and perform a Google search. But until now, it wasn't clear that you could start typing a new query immediately, as the URL was still there and highlighted. A new Chrome flag has been added to clarify things, plus make it easier to share or copy the current page's URL. Read More
Google announced today that its URL shortening service, goo.gl, will be shutting down starting in April. Existing links will still function, but on April 13, users who haven't used the site (or have only used it anonymously) will no longer be able to create short links. Users who have already created goo.gl links will still be able to do so from the accounts they've previously used up until one year from today—March 30, 2019. Read More
IFTTT, the service that connects all of your smart gadgets, services, websites, and various other sources with each other in an automated "if this happens here do that there," has made one neat improvement to its Notifications channel on Android. Previously, when you created an applet that triggered a notification on your phone, you could only personalize the message it displayed and it always opened the IFTTT app when tapped. Now you can also change its name, add a custom URL to be opened when you tap it, and append a custom image.
That not only lets you customize what you see in your notification shade, but it also lets you get more info from it. Read More
As you traverse the internet, you will often encounter URLs that have tracking or referral junk tacked on the end. You probably don't want all that garbage included when you share a link, and Chrome recently started taking care of that for you. As of v64, the browser trims off unnecessary strings at the end of URLs. Read More
Even if you've never heard of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), you've probably already come across them several times online without realizing it — and you might have even been put off by one of its minor annoyances. The AMP project was created by Google in 2016 as yet another initiative to make online browsing faster and more responsive. Put simply, it works by making an educated guess on which pages a user is likely to visit next and begin preloading them before they do — for example, by preloading the first Google Search links in the background. I guess you could liken it to a sort of speculative execution for webpages, minus the Earth-shattering security vulnerabilities. Read More
Honest companies are expected to retain their users by offering the best service they can provide and not by actively locking them in and making it hard to switch to a competitor. Read More
The OnePlus One is receiving another OTA today - one I'm probably more excited about than any other OTA the company has released so far. Mostly because unlocking the phone and using apps has deteriorated into a constant battle with an unresponsive and very moody touchscreen. Supposedly, this update should resolve this pretty major flaw, along with a few other things which I've detailed below, including the poor battery life we covered recently.
Of course, as usual, we have the OTA file for those of you who don't want to wait for the slow rollout to hit them.
What's New? Read More
The fashionably late July over-the-air update for the OnePlus One that bumps the handset up to Android 4.4.4 is beginning to roll out as of now and will continue through the end of the week (it's staged, with 10% rolling out first). In addition to new versions of Google apps, the update contains a cooler calibration for its screen and fixes that stop the phone from activating off-screen gestures while in your pocket.
There's also a new Clear Image camera feature that stitches together over 10 individual photos to produce an image with a higher resolution. Here is a comparison shot with the photo of interest positioned on the right. Read More
While the majority of Nexus and GPE devices have received their Android 4.4.3 OTAs relatively quickly, the rollout for certain other devices has certainly been... unusual. We still haven't heard anything about the 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE, or the Moto G GPE, and until today, the OTA for the 2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (I've been waiting for it to post both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+3G links together).
As they say, better late than never, but I'm sure owners of the abovementioned phones and tablets are not thrilled, especially those with Nexus 7s LTE that have received neither factory images nor OTAs. Read More